With the support of Europol and Eurojust, 12 Lithuanians suspected of luxury car theft in Germany were arrested earlier this week in Germany and Lithuania as part of a coordinated swoop against this organised crime group.
Operation JIT EWALD resulted in the arrest of two suspects in Germany and eight in Lithuania. Altogether 6 premises were searched in Germany and 11 in Kaunas and Vilnius, Lithuania.
The German authorities initiated an international investigation in November 2018 after receiving information that Lithuanian citizens had been targeting luxurious cars in Germany and then selling them outside of the EU. The damage done by this organised crime group is valued at over €1.5 million.
Europol, the European Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, supported the investigation by facilitating information exchange and deploying experts and a mobile office on-the-spot in Lithuania. A joint investigation team (JIT) involving German and Lithuanian officers was set-up with the support of Eurojust, the European agency dealing with judicial co-operation in criminal matters.
JITs are teams formed jointly by national law enforcement agencies to handle cross-border crime. Joint investigation teams coordinate the investigations and prosecutions conducted in parallel by several countries.